The source for Shnayim mikra ve-echad targum is the Gemara in Tractate Berakhot 8a:

אמר רב הונא בר יהודה אמר רבי אמי "לעולם ישלים אדם פרשיותיו עם הצבור שנים מקרא ואחד תרגום

Rav Huna bar Yehuda says in the name of Rabbi Ammi: "one should always complete the reading of one's weekly Torah portion with the congregation, twice from the mikra (i.e. Torah) and once from the Targum."

Is there any reference as to how this was done in the times of the gemoro before printed versions of mikro and targum were available.

  • 3
    I don't understand the question. How was anything read before printing? From manuscripts. Why would this be different? – msh210 Nov 24 '18 at 22:49
  • I think you're suggesting that due to the high cost of manuscripts, people couldn't do this at home. That's why we had Battim Midrash all over the place, there was no other way people could learn. – Josh K Nov 25 '18 at 2:12
  • @msh210 Everyone has to do SMvET and it is unlikely that each individual had a manuscript of chumash and targum. JoshK's suggestion is a possible answer. – Avrohom Yitzchok Nov 25 '18 at 9:09
  • You can fulfill this by listening to the Keriah and the Targum. On shabbos, the Baal Kriyah leined, and the m'targem, translated into Aramaic - this is still done by Temani (Yeminite kehillos). What's left is one more leining which can be done with vellum. We've had books for thousands of years (cf. Leningrad Codex 19a) While certainly expensive, it would not be unusual for codices to exist in shuls for reading from - hence the custom (acc. to the Taz) to read from the Haftarah. – user18313 Nov 25 '18 at 17:34
  • I remember our old Torah reader told us once that as a child the rabbi was reading the weekly portion phrase by phrase and they had to repeat it and then translate it into Yiddish. (By the way the priest of the village continued this practice, when the rabbi was deported during the war.) – Kazi bácsi Nov 25 '18 at 23:42

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